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In Detroit, Nearly 50% Unemployment Rate?

Officially, Detroit's unemployment rate is roughly 30%. Today's Detroit News suggests that nearly half of this city's eligible workers may be unemployed – mainly because so many have simply given up looking for jobs. Here are some key takeaways:

Mayor Dave Bing recently raised eyebrows when he said what many already suspected: that the city's official unemployment rate was as believable as Santa Claus. In Washington for a jobs forum earlier this month, he estimated it was "closer to 50 percent." ...

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that for the year that ended in September, Michigan's official unemployment rate was 12.6 percent. Using the broadest definition of unemployment, the state unemployment rate was 20.9 percent, or 66 percent higher than the official rate. Since Detroit's official rate for October was 27 percent, that broader rate pushes the city's rate to as high as 44.8 percent.

It's another reminder that Detroit, and Michigan, are enduring some of the most severe effects of the nation's economic crisis. The problems may deepen, since many of the unemployed lack basic skills - like reading - to qualify for the kinds of high-tech jobs that officials are working vigorously to attract.

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  • 1

    Turning areas of Detroit into red light districts will put thousands of the unemployed to work. With police approval jobs will be open for pimps,hookers, and drug dealers. No capital investment will be needed, and the new Detroit will attract fun loving customers from all over the world. Poverty will be gone along with the religious leaders that would rather see high unemployment than sin.

  • 2

    Unemployment, both in the U.S. and the world as a whole, marches ever higher because the field of economics doesn't account for the relationship between population density and per capita consumption.

    Following the beating the field of economics took over the seeming failure of Malthus' theory, economists adamantly refuse to ever again consider the effects of population growth. If they did, they might come to understand that once an optimum population density is breached, further over-crowding begins to erode per capita consumption and, consequently, per capita employment.

    And these effects of an excessive population density are actually imported when a nation like the U.S. attempts to trade freely with other nations much more densely populated - nations like China, Japan, Germany, Korea and a host of others. The result is an automatic trade deficit and loss of jobs - tantamount to economic suicide.

    Using 2006 data, an in-depth analysis reveals that, of our top twenty per capita trade deficits in manufactured goods (the trade deficit divided by the population of the country in question), eighteen are with nations much more densely populated than our own. Even more revealing, if the nations of the world are divided equally around the median population density, the U.S. had a trade surplus in manufactured goods of $17 billion with the half of nations below the median population density. With the half above the median, we had a $480 billion deficit.

    If you‘re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, then I invite you to visit my web site at

    Pete Murphy
    Author, "Five Short Blasts"

  • 3

    [...] was peaking in 1950, metro Detroit real estate was very valuable. The unemployment rate is now as high as 30%. Think about the market in South Florida in 2007/2008. Feel like buying the dip? Did you know [...]

  • 4

    A little known program exists out there that is just the unemployed's cup of tea.
    Many cities belong to the National League of Cities. As one of their perks they offer a prescription discount card to its members. There are many other plans out there as well. For saving money this free service really helps a lot. When I became unemployed and COBRA ran out I found that I could save up to 80% off on my prescriptions by printing up a free discount card available at No commitment required and it's free to use and good for pets too. The discounts vary but I can verifiably say that I save about $1200 per year and don't pay a dime to keep the card.

  • 5

    [...] I feel they as outsiders missed the mark on what drove the city into what is becoming a  permanent black depression for that area. Mayor Dave Bing recently raised eyebrows when he said what many already suspected: that the [...]

  • 6

    Hello, fellow Blogger!

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  • 7

    [...] since we all hate bad news, I want all my fellow LionsDetroit fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

  • 8

    [...] asserted at the time that if discouraged workers were also taken into account, the rate would be “closer to 50 percent.” In early 2013, the city’s official unemployment rate remained at 18 [...]

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